The irony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to citizens of Turkey to take to the streets and protest a reported military coup attempt has been noted by Turkish-American journalist Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian one of his co-hosts with The Young Turks.
President Erdogan was said to have been in Marmaris, located on the Mediterranean, when the coup plot began in Istanbul and Ankara, as reported by RT. Erdogan was reported to have given a “defiant” speech at the Istanbul airport upon his return and to have declared that he wasn’t “going anywhere.”
Turkish officials with the Erdogan government were said to state that the coup attempt had “failed,” as reported by Fox 61. The Turkish president has placed responsibility for the coup with the Gulen movement, lead by Fethullah Gulen, an exiled former Erdogan-ally now living in Pennsylvania.
“There are signs that Gulen is working closely with certain members of military leadership against the elected civilian government,” Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer for the Turkish government stated.
The Sydney Morning Herald has asked “Why did it take so long?” for the military — in this case a portion of it — to attempt to ouster the “Putin-esque” President Erdogan from power. Turkey differs from most other countries with histories of civil uprisings in that its military coups have tended to back democratic elections, whereas coups in other countries tend to see autocrats replace democracies. The Inquisitr has previously reported on the replacement of democratically elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff by Michel Temer in a process described as a “coup” and a “farce.”
While President Barack Obama has urged Turkish citizens to respect the “democratically-elected Government of Turkey,” as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Cenk Uygur with The Young Turks has voiced the opinion that the official U.S. stance toward the outcome may be slightly different.
“If I had to guess, I would say we are on the side of the coup.”
Erdogan, while ostensibly democratically elected — irregularities with the election process that put him in power have been noted — his demeanor has been described as exemplifying “stupefying callousness.”
“It’s not like [these accidents] don’t happen elsewhere in the world,” Erdogan was quoted with regard to a Elmadere mining accident that saw 301 miners both choke and burn to death. The Turkish president has been quoted by NBC News referring to women who work as “half persons.” The Guardian reports that journalists in Turkey have been the subject of the worst “media witch-hunt” since the 1980s under Erdogan’s rule.
“If Erdogan regains power,” Cenk Uygur stated. “He will be an immovable object. He will pass every draconian law.”
President Erdogan, while secular, is a described as right wing and a fundamentalist. In the period following a failed coup, Uygur sees his supporters gaining a tighter grip on power and restrictions to personal liberties in Turkey increasing.
“The one thing that really stood out to me,” Ana Kasparian with The Young Turks said, “the first thing Erdogan… [did] was ask his supporters to go out into the streets. He has been been so horrific toward journalists and protesters.”
Cenk Uygur described authorities in Turkey mixing pepper spray with water used to hose down protestors to create “fire water.”
“He normally hates protesters in the streets. Now, he’s begging for protesters in the streets.”
Uygur, Kasparian, and hosts John Iadarola, and Ben Makiewicz discussed the possibility that U.S. authorities had knowledge of the coup beforehand, despite assertions by Fethullah Gulen that he and his Gulen movement have no involvement, as reported by the New York Times. Cenk Uygur and the TYT hosts were skeptical that U.S. authorities would publicly admit their prior knowledge of the Turkish coup attempt — even if it did exist.
The situation may be one where U.S. leaders, given Erdogan’s seemingly increasingly dictatorial tendencies, prefer a new government formed by Gulen supporters; yet, remains one where they must be content with whichever outcome prevails.
Current reports indicate at least 265 people dead and 1,440 wounded in Turkey. Over 2,800 coup participants are reported to have been taken into custody by police, as reported by New York Times.
[Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]